Editorial: 'Collaboration between SSMJ and its readers'

Author(s): Dr David Tibbutt

All of us in the healthcare professions throughout the world can learn much from each other. This has been demonstrated so well by the collaboration between the editors, authors, medical experts and readers of the South Sudan Medical Journal.

The Editor-in-Chief recently sent out a request for photographs and received a good response. The photographs that you, the readers, sent are already making a valuable contribution and for these we are most grateful. We used one on the cover of the last issue of SSMJ, and you will see others in this and further issues.

A special example recently were excellent pictures of a child with facial skin lesions that were causing diagnostic and therapeutic difficulties(sent by Dr Okello Black). The pictures were shared with colleagues, including Professor David Warrell, Emeritus Professor of Tropical Medicine in the University of Oxford. The consensus was that the child had cutaneous tuberculosis. Anti-TB treatment has led to a rapid improvement – see the article on page XX.

 Dr Okello who sent the photo of the child with facial skin lesions writes: “The editorial board and its reviewers take a keen interest in the clinical work of healthcare professionals in South Sudan. They advise when questions have been raised, suggest tests and differential diagnoses and request updates on treatment and progress. They treat the patients ‘together’ with their readers. My patient, Jason, who features on page XX, is currently due to complete the intensive phase of TB treatment in a few days. I hold drug-compliance strengthening discussions with him every Friday.  Jason comes daily from home for his drugs and has a positive attitude to his treatment. Jason has a lot of phobia; he still finds it difficult to show his scarred face to his peers, keeps it covered with a towel, and is not yet going to school. He comes from an insecure part of the country which could threaten him continuing with the treatment”.

A further example was a photograph of penile hypospadias sent by Dr Kivumbi. This was so good that Mr. John Black, Emeritus President of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, has asked if he may include it in a major textbook which he is editing. We are also using your photographs as a basis of quizzes – see page XX.

As well as photographs we welcome “Letters to the Editor”, questions about diagnostic problems and short case histories especially from South Sudan and neighbouring countries. Send these to Dr Edward Luka [email protected] .


Dr Okello Armgod Black

Boma Hospital, South Sudan


Dr David Tibbutt

Member of SSMJ Editorial Board and Reviewing Team